2017/18 Visma Ski Classics
Fabulous XC Ski Events for Pros & Amateurs
As snow starts to fly and ski swaps pop up in towns across the continent, Nordic fever is building for the 2017-18 season. Once again, the Visma Ski Classics will offer an exciting series of mass-start long-distance Classic-technique events in Europe that see 5,000 to 18,000 participants – Pros and amateurs alike – mixing it up at each race.
To make things even more thrilling, throughout the series, skiers will vie for the coveted leader’s bibs in the overall, sprint, climber, youth and team competitions, with titles awarded at the end of the season.
The action kicks off with the Prologue in Pontresina, Switzerland on Nov. 26. The second annual Pro Team Tempo, which acts as a team presentation of sorts, gives the Pro teams a chance to introduce their new athletes and uniforms for the season in this Pursuit-style team event. Next up is the 35km Sgambeda, held in northern Italy’s beautiful Livigno valley on Dec. 2.
After more than a month’s break, the series will resume in Austria with the 60km Kaiser Maximilan Lauf, followed a week later by the 65km La Diagonela in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The action continues full bore with the already sold-out 70km Marcialonga in Trentino, while Round Six stays in Italy for the 50km Toblach-cortina, taking athletes from Dobbiaco to Cortina on the same route used since 1977.
It’s off to the Czech Republic on Feb. 18 for the 51st edition of the 50km Jizerska in Bedrichov.
Started in 1922, the longest event of the series, Sweden’s 90km Vasaloppet, is sold out on March 4. The historic 54km Birkebeinerrennet takes place in Norway on March 17, which, according to legend, is based on the royal rescue of a toddler prince in the year 1205.
Norway hosts a second race on April 7 – the 50km Reistadløpet. Founded in 1958 and held 56 times, one hardy soul has participated in the event a whopping 53 times, while two others have contested it 50 times.
New to the Visma Ski Classics calendar, the 67km Ylläs-levi in Finland will wrap up the 2017-18 season on April 14. A cross-country-skiing haven, the Ylläs-levi area boasts 550 kilometres of maintained Nordic ski tracks and snow for seven months of the year.
For those who can’t make it to Europe for every race, let alone one, there’s a new way to keep up on the latest from the Visma Ski Classics this season, courtesy of the series’ new Ski Classics Play app (play.vismaskiclassics.com). With a subscription, it allows followers to watch all the races live and gives them exclusive access to a historical video library and extra video material from the participating Pro teams. The app is the only way for viewers in Canada and the U.S. to live-stream the Visma Ski Classics. No subscription? Fans can still follow along with live time at the Visma Ski Classics Live Center on www.vismaskiclassics.com.
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announced the inclusion of a women's Nordic-combined event at the 2018 US National Championships to be held Oct. 7 in Lake Placid, N.Y. Among other decisions made at the IOC meeting, it was determined that ski mountaineering will be included for the first time in Lausanne.
T-bay Awarded 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games
In August, Special Olympics Canada announced that Thunder Bay, Ont. has been awarded the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games. The other finalist was Regina, Sask.
The bid theme was “Hearts of Gold” to highlight local community spirit and the fact that 2020 will be Thunder Bay's 50th (golden) anniversary. In 1970, the City of Thunder Bay was formed from the fusion of Fort William and Port Arthur.
The Special Olympics Canada Games began in 1974, and are national multi-sport Games for athletes with an intellectual disability. The Winter Games are scheduled every four years and were last held in Corner Brook, Nfld. in 2016, where the estimated economic impact was $5.4 million. The event includes alpine skiing, five-pin bowling, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing and speed skating. The Games will require approximately 750 volunteers and a budget of more than $2 million. For more information, go to www.specialolympics.ca.
Anti-doping Agencies Call for Russian Ban at Pyeongchang 2018
A group of 17 of the world's leading anti-doping agencies that comprise the National Anti-doping Organization (NADO) have called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold Russia accountable for what it calls “one of the biggest scandals in sports history,” and ban Russia from Olympic Winter Games (OWG) in Pyeongchang, South Korea from Feb. 9-25, 2018.
“The IOC needs to stop kicking the can down the road and immediately issue meaningful consequences. The failure to expeditiously investigate individual Russian athlete doping poses a danger for clean athletes worldwide and at the 2018 Winter Games,” said NADO in a press release following a meeting in Denver, Colo. “We have serious doubts that the 2018 Games will be clean due to the incomplete investigation of individual doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games and given the inadequate testing evidence of Russian athletes over the past four years.”
Our Snowfactory produces 3.6 cubic metres of snow an hour at an ambient outdoor temperature up to 60° Fahrenheit. This production rate is the actual measured quantity with our Snowfactory, and the rate remains the same at all temperatures at and below 60°. We have not tested it yet above 60°, but other sites have successfully made snow up to 80° Fahrenheit. The average tandem dump truck holds between eight to 11 cubic metres of product. At the 3.6-cubic-metres production rate per hour, we make 86.4 cubic metres per day and 604.8 cubic metres of snow per week.
The Snowfactory uses 11 gallons of water a minute that we pull from a ground well on site. One hundred percent of the water is turned into snow that is on site. The process has no loss to wind. Water temperature does have an effect on the production rate. Our groundwater is 41° Fahrenheit; generally speaking a colder water temperature produces slightly more snow over time. Snow from the Snowfactory is blown out of the machine through a six-inch pipe. We use either a ridged or flexible pipe depending on our needs, and have blown snow successfully up to 280 metres from the Snowfactory.
The operation of the machine requires minimal employees, as all of the system and snow production are contained in a shipping container. The Snowfactory can be operated remotely from a computer or smartphone. We have a couple dedicated employees at Mount Van Hoevenberg who maintain and oversee the production of snow with the Snowfactory. For the most part, outside of start-up and shut-